There's more than one way to devastate a planet.
The Dreadnought is a heavily armed warship meant to endure and deal out great damage.
After the disastrous events of the Brood War, Terran scientists began developing new technologies to improve the vessel's combat capabilities. Recent data collected on Dominion Battlecruiser development indicated that the newer models could be refit with different types of support equipment. One, being a ship mounted version of a Science Vessel Defense Matrix, could temporary augment Battlecrusier resilience to levels slightly above a Protoss Mothership. Another appears to be a modified version of Valkyrie missile systems to compensate for its weakness against squadrons of small fighters. However, most cruisers default to an upgraded version of the Yamato Gun called the Yamato Canon. Destructive in both conventional and unconventional warfare, Battlecruisers are a must in any Terran arsenal.
To combat these versatile starships, some shadow corporations began developing more advanced versions designated as Dreadnoughts. There is little difference in the two save for the different "head"-regions. Instead of the Terran Hammerhead design, the developers opted to use a more arrow-head design to hold more advanced weaponry (Stargate: Beliskner-class to O'Neill-class; Star Trek - Voyager: Prometheus-class). For tactical systems, the laser batteries have been removed in favor of more powerful Protoss energy weapons. Some armor was also removed for greater maneuverability and speed, so plasma shielding was given to compensate for the loss of endurance. As for the weapons refit system, Dreadnoughts have been given two new types to chose from depending on the user's specifications. Except for the Yamato Cannon, all weapons systems have a different color scheme to designate what they are equipped with.
Dreadnoughts can be equipped with a missile system based of Valkyrie frigates that is effective against both multiple air targets (Starcraft II development: Battlecruiser development). Up to twenty Ripwave missiles can be loaded and fired instantly. Squadrons of small fighters are destroyed after a few salvos, while armadas of heavier ships tend to be crippled before they can fire a shot.
Maintaining ships as large as Battlecruisers can be devastating should the ships be destroyed. The Terran solution to these flaws is to have multiple SCVs and automated drones nearby for repairs. Thought effective in prolonging Battlecruiser longevity, it can be demanding when resources are scarce in the long run. Dreadnaughts rectify this flaw by equipping a micro-manufacturing plant and Graviton Beam reverse engineered from Protoss technology. Once activated, anything targeted by the beam is pulled into a set of grinding blades before being processed into raw materials for repairs (Beast Wars: Nemesis; Command & Conquer: Leech Beam; Halo Wars: Vampire). Whole battalions of infantry units and vehicles can be captured by a Dreadnought's tractor beam. Larger objects such as buildings can only be assimilated in pieces, while massive units such as Thors and Ultralisks can escape if they are fast enough.
Because of the already existing plasma shielding, there was little reason to keep the less advanced Defense Matrix. Instead, Dreadnoughts can equip a cloaking system ideal for stealth missions and strategic withdrawals. In ship-to-ship combat against, the Dreadnaught's superior speed and maneuverability coupled with the cloak leave enemies guessing where such a huge ship disappeared. When deployed correctly, this is as great a psychological advantage as it is a tactical one.
Dreadnoughts can also utilize a special energy conversion device that diverts plasma shield energy into other weapons systems. Because of the extra energy, a Dreadnought can fire and recharge a Yamato Gun in less time, which can mean the difference between destroying or crippling an enemy fleet.
- Yamato Cannon (Red) - fires a 300 damage blast at ground and air targets
- Auxiliary Power (passive) - transfers plasma shield energy to weapons energy
- Weapons Refit: unit uses a different weapon depending on what is equipped
- Hot Zone (Green)-Launch a bomb that deals 250 (+100 vs biological) damage to ground units and buildings
- Missile Barrage (Yellow) - fires a salvo of 20 missiles at enemy air units dealing 10 (+4 vs armored) aerial splash damage
- Tractor Beam (Blue) - fires a beam that absorbs and destroys any light and heavy ground units within its field. Dreadnought repairs itself (if damaged) by 20 HPs (light) or 50 HPs (heavy). Cannot affect Massive units
- Permanent Cloaking (passive) - Dreadnought is permanently cloaked